New exhibition celebrates some of the highest quality craft in the region

May 17, 2022

A new exhibition at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery celebrates some of the highest quality craft being produced in our region. Crafted is a collaboration between Hampshire Cultural Trust, which operates the Willis Museum, and the Hampshire and Berkshire Guild of Craftsmen. Running until 17 July 2022, the exhibition brings together 22 artists from the guild, who have created pieces especially for the exhibition, drawing on their specialist skills to express their ideas of beauty in wood, metal, textiles and ceramics.

The exhibition celebrates the importance of craft to our history, both the innate human desire to create, and the recognition that a handmade object crafted from raw materials speaks to us in a deeply resonant way, with admiration for how materials can be transformed in the hands of a skilled maker. Recent times have whetted the appetite for the handmade and sparked a renewed interest in the hands-on alchemy of materials and skills, familiar and mysterious at the same time.

Caroline Egleston, guild member, said: ‘To make something and to make it well, is the overarching aim of our group of designer-makers based in Hampshire and Berkshire. We hone our skills to imagine and then create those pieces which will become a part of people’s lives, bringing interest and pleasure over many years and beyond. Crafted has given us the opportunity to bring some of our finest recent work together and we are very grateful to Hampshire Cultural Trust for highlighting in such a fresh way the relevance and joy of making.’

Photography by David McKibbin has been specially commissioned to capture an intimate view of the artists at work in their studios. This will be featured alongside the objects on display, inviting audiences to look closer and appreciate the realisation of exceptional craft, its place in the wider cultural landscape and how it enriches our daily lives. A unique focus on the artists and their hands in the process of creating offers a compelling insight into their absorption with their chosen material as they pursue perfect expression. 

Visual Arts Exhibition Manager for Hampshire Culture Trust, Tara McKinney Marinus, commented: ‘The show has been two years in the making and it has been a privilege and pleasure to collaborate with the guild, a collective of extraordinary artistic talent and skill. We want to encourage visitors to pause: to look slowly and appreciate the value and beauty of contemporary craft today.’

All items on display are available for purchase and can be collected or shipped when the exhibition closes in July. 

The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, an independent charity set up in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a county that offers outstanding cultural experiences to both its residents and visitors.   

For more information about the exhibition, please visit https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/event/crafted